banner_img Make a difference on a #SafariWithSuyash
Date of Travel
15 Jun to 13 Jul 2020
Cost of Trip
INR1500009 Seat left
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Overview

If you are passionate about wildlife conservation and want to make a difference in their lives, then join me this summer! Help in nature conservation efforts while you learn about South Africa and also experience close encounters with a variety of different species.

You will be at the Schotia Safaris Private Reserve, the oldest private reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, bordering the eastern side of Addo Elephant National Park. Once a farmland, Schotia has been transformed into a wildlife reserve by its owners with a clear vision to secure a sacred future for wild animals in a fast developing country. It is one of the most densely packed wildlife reserves in Africa, and hosts over 40 mammal species. Schotia is also the first reserve in the Cape Province to have free roaming lions. A couple years ago Prince Harry (ehm from the Royal British Family) visited Schotia.

 

Itinerary

During your trip you will be accompanied by yours truly! I have visited Schotia several times and made my first film there about tracking lions on foot back in 2016 which you can watch here. I have spent a considerable amount of time in Schotia as well as South Africa and will not only be your program leader but also your private guide. You can learn more about me in the about section of this website.

This is a joint effort between Schotia Safaris and I to provide opportunities for young people to be directly involved in nature and wildlife conservation.

FAQ

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Is this trip for me?

This trip is only open for participants between the age of 18 and 30 who are interested in playing a direct role in wildlife conservation, willing to work hard and get their hands dirty, dedicate their time, work in teams and create a meaningful experience for self and others around them.

WHAT WILL I DO?

This volunteer experience is designed for participants to be able to play a direct role in wildlife conservation efforts. Your volunteer program activities include but are not limited to:

  • Assisting in wildlife research
  • Monitoring camera traps
  • Surveying plants, animals, water holes etc.
  • Weed and alien plant species extermination
  • Road maintenance and clearing which allow the management to navigate freely
  • Water source and pasture development for the wildlife
  • Lending a hand in fixing, repairing camps and tents
  • Fixing and monitoring fences
  • Lending a hand in sustainable farming activities

WHAT DO I GET IN RETURN?

During your stay you will have access to the entire Schotia Safaris Private Reserve and understand the ins and out of wildlife management. You will go on safaris which will help you in learning a lot about the different species that call this place their home, spend your evenings around a campfire chatting with your peers industry professionals and tourists from all over the world. Most importantly, you will take back memories of a lifetime including through stunning photos and videos. You will also form close bonds and friendship with people from different backgrounds and countries.

we will offer the following activities during your stay–at no additional cost

  • Five-Six Safaris every week including night drives
  • Photography Masterclass with Suyash Keshari
  • Wildlife Signs and Tracking Course
  • Wildlife Ranger Training Experience
  • Masterclass on Private Model of Wildlife Conservation in South Africa, you will receive CERTIFICATE for your hard work and dedication toward wildlife conservation

WHERE WILL I STAY?

WHAT WILL I EAT?

We will provide 3 meals per day to all participants. Meals are home-cooked and continental style. Depending on the weather, you may occasionally get the chance to enjoy a South African special Braaii, something which will be a highlight of the volunteer experience. Nights spent around the fire having a braai (BBQ) are a big part of South African culture, and should you have the opportunity to indulge in this enjoyable pastime, you may find that it offers a great chance to relax whilst getting to know your fellow volunteers and the team.

We do offer food options for vegans and vegetarians. We do not have the ability of providing Kosher, Halal or Jain meals.

If you are allergic to any food items, kindly inform us at the time of the booking.

WHAT SKILLS AND FITNESS LEVELS ARE REQUIRED?

We recommend that all volunteers have a moderate level of fitness, as the days are busy and you will be involved in a variety of activities including manual labor such as weed extermination by hand, fixing of fence lines etc.

We require participants to speak a basic level of English.

While we do not require volunteers to have any special set of skills, we ask that everyone arrives with a willingness to get involved, get their hands dirty, be timely and respectful of other participants, and most importantly respectful toward wildlife and the committed project staff with whom you will be working.

Note: Participants with physical disabilities, severe heart or auto-immune conditions, expecting mothers, or any conditions that can impair your physical and mental ability to perform any of the above mentioned tasks, are not recommended to travel.

DO I NEED VACCINATIONS?

Eastern Cape is a malaria free region. However, any vaccinations required will depend on the individual needs of each volunteer. We recommend that you consult with your personal doctor regarding your own immunization needs as this will ensure you are protected and prepared to travel. In conjunction with this, we would recommend that you check Fit for Travel’s website for more helpful information on what you need to do before your departure.

WHAT ARE THE TOUR COSTS & TERMS?

  • Participants must pay in full to book their spot. 
  • Only 50% of the cost will be refunded if participants cancel 30 days prior to the trip start date.
  • No refund will be issued if a participant cancels within 30 days of the trip start date.

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

  • Lodging during the length of the stay 
  • Three meals everyday in Schotia Private Reserve
  • Laundry Service 
  • Juice, Tea and Coffee
  • WiFi at project meeting room 
  • Activities such as safaris, guided walks and workshops in Schotia 

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?

  • Airport Transfers
  • Visa Fees 
  • Personal Snacks 
  • Alcoholic Beverages? 
  • Tips and taxes 
  • Flight Tickets 
  • Insurance 
  • Extension of stay
  • Any activities outside of Schotia 
  • Weekend Excursions 
  • Anything else not explicitly mentioned in the “what is included” section

HOW DO I GET THERE?

You will need to fly into Port Elizabeth Airport (PLZ) on your project start date, and there are several daily flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Schotia Safaris Private Game Reserve is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes from the airport. Airport transfers can be arranged at an added cost of $50 (Approx Rupees 3,500 / South African Rand 800) each way. 

 

 If there are multiple volunteers arriving around the same time, we will arrange for these transfers to be shared to reduce the cost.

 

Transfers back to Port Elizabeth Airport on your final day arrive at 11:00am so you must book a flight that departs after midday. 

DO I NEED A VISA?

Citizens of UK, USA, Canada, Australia and most of those within the EU, do not need to obtain a visa to enter South Africa and are granted entry for up to 90 days upon arrival. You will, however, need at least 2 blank pages in your passport for the immigration officials to use and your passport must be valid for a period of at least 6 months from your date of entry. 

 

Indian citizens will need to apply for a visa. If you are unsure of your country’s visa requirements, we recommend speaking to your local South African embassy at least 2 months prior to travel.

WHAT WILL BE THE WEATHER LIKE?

Winter (June – September): This time of year is still pleasant during the day with temperatures between 20–25°C (68-77°F), however, it can get very cold at night with temperatures from 5-10°C (41-50°F) and a rare possibility of the thermostat reaching 0°C (32°F).

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME?

  • Winter gear for early mornings and late evenings. 
  • A hat and sunglasses are recommended 
  • A good and comfortable pair of sports shoes or hiking boots which you don’t mind getting dirty 
  • Light t-shirts and shorts for hot days 
  • Sunscreen and Insect Repellant 
  • Practical colours to wear are khaki, beige and white in all seasons
  • Please avoid bright and flashy clothing and strong perfumes/deodorant
  • Torch light is a must

A good pair of binoculars, camera equipment with telephoto lenses are a suggestion but ofcourse not a must.

Important Note: Please carry all personal medicines

WHAT ARE SOME OTHER ACTIVITIES NEAR PORT ELIZABETH FOR WEEKENDS?

Port Elizabeth area has a lot to offer for travelers. Some examples are:

 

  • Whale, dolphin, shark watching tours
  • Penguins at St. Croix Island 
  • Scuba Diving 
  • Snorkeling 
  • Bungee Jumping 
  • Addo Elephant National Park
  • Sardina Bay beach

Important Note: These activities are not a part of the volunteer program. All such activities must be paid for by the participants and at their own risk/liability. 

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